LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — As I rise this morn-ing, I greet this day as one of the most special of my life.
On this day in 1981, I began the day with the usual routine — the exception being a doctor’s appointment late that morning. I assumed this would be my final pre-natal appointment, as I was due to give birth to my first child on January 31.
I was experiencing some mild stomach pains, but was taken totally off guard when the doctor informed me I was in labor. I hurried from the examination room to get my mother, who was entertaining some children in the waiting room. When she seemed in no hurry to leave, I burst out that I was in labor. That sped her up!
I stopped by my aunt’s workplace to tell her the news. Partially laid off, it was ironically the first full workday she’d had in months. Then I stopped by the factory where my cousin Kathy worked to tell her. She immediately began yelling, “We’re going to have a baby!” and clocked out for the day. As she and my mother grinned, glowed and pranced in anticipation, we walked to the car and I drove them the two blocks home.
As we watched the live coverage of the Iranian hostages getting off the plane after months of captivity, the pains came more frequently and around 5 p.m., we headed to the hospital — this time with Aunt Maggie driving rather than me. She drove to the emergency drop-off circle to let us out while she parked the car. Kathy and my mother were so excited, they nearly ran to the door, leaving me behind to carry my own suitcase.
Unlike most first-time mothers, my labor was brief. At 6:18 p.m., in the midst of the celebration of the safe return of hostages, our beautiful LeeAnn entered the world — healthy — and life was beautiful. Her almost jet-black hair and round, newborn face was my own picture of an angel. In the years since, this child has brought immense joy and pride to my life, despite numerous obstacles that we have overcome on our way. This year’s birthday is especially meaningful, in that she is bringing a new life into the world this late spring and our family has another miracle of God to celebrate.